Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

DVD: The Flaming Lips

U.F.O.s At The Zoo (Warner Bros)

Every Flaming Lips gig is an event, but they surpassed themselves with this hometown show at the Zoo Ampitheater in Oklahoma in September last year.

The band arrived and departed in a Close Encounters spaceship style structure - hence the title - and nobody in the near 10,000 strong crowd (a real collection of oddballs as the intercut documentary footage reveals - one fan was mildly indignant that his pint of fake blood was confiscated at the airport) would have been in the least bit surprised if there had been a real alien visitation - part of the attraction of a Flaming Lips show is that anything seems possible.

Frontman Wayne Coyne emerged from the spaceship in one of those huge, transparent beach ball things, made his way gingerly down a ramp, was lowered onto the stage and indulged in a short bout of crowd surfing - still inside the ball - before launching into opening number Race For The Prize, which managed to sound even more thunderously joyous than its recorded version.

It set the tone for a wholly, hugely life-affirming gig complete with the balloons, confetti, fake blood, hand puppets and all other kookery that comes with a Lips gig.

By the end the stage resembled the floor at a particularly boisterous four-year-old's birthday party, only this was a party the grown-ups had been invited to.

And through it all the band sound great. Drummer Kliph Scurlock evokes the ghost of John Bonham, Steven Drozd handles a barrage of guitars and keyboards, and Coyne is the perfect host, engaging, earnest and almost puppishly enthusiastic in equal measure.

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